NVIDIA may get into the smartphone and tablet manufacturing market, but it won’t sell its devices directly to consumers.
According to the report NVIDIA will make its own devices for smartphones and tablets using its Tegra chipsets, then sell those designs to device manufacturers. The company will sell its device designs to smaller manufacturers like Wexler in Russia and Lava in India which currently flood the market with cheap, low-powered Android devices.
The devices likely won’t carry any NVIDIA branding beyond a note that they contain Tegra processors. The smaller manufacturers will still put their names on the devices, but the devices will likely be better than the current crop of cheap Android tablets and smartphones.
The first of the NVIDIA-designed devices will likely come to various markets around May or June. At that time a number of 7- and 10-inch Android tablets will come out with Tegra chipsets. While many manufacturers will release the tablets, they will all come from a set of NVIDIA designs, which means some may look very similar, if not identical.
This method of creating white label products to sell to other companies for distribution is not new to NVIDIA. The manufacturer already employs the same strategy for its desktop graphics cards. It creates the chips, then other companies like EVGA, MSI and Asus put their branding on the cards as they bring them to store shelves.
NVIDIA’s plan may bring a number of better cheap tablets to the U.S., but many of the companies it will work with are small regional manufacturers in countries like Russia and India. The overall goal is to get Tegra chips into more devices, and its likely easier to convince smaller regional companies to buy white label products than it is to convince companies like Asus, LG and Acer.
NVIDIA also already has a few companies which make Tegra devices for the U.S. such as Vizio which showed off the first Tegra 4 tablet at CES earlier this month.